The first weekend in May, Rotary District 5020 held their annual conference in Tacoma (Hotel Murano). District 5020 is one of the few international Rotary districts in the world and contains Rotarians on Vancouver Island, B.C. and Western Washington from Pierce County south to Woodland including the Olympic Peninsula. Worldwide Rotary unites over a million people taking action locally and globally.
On Thursday, the first event of the conference resulted in Rotarian volunteers packing 55,000 meals to feed members of our community as well as the Aberdeen area through the Emergency Food Network.
I was at the conference to promote the Foldscopes project, which was originally funded by the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8. There were eight tables set up to show off Rotary projects covering everything from ending polio, to promoting clean water. One table was for our Foldscopes project. The Foldscopes were designed to find and ignite aspiring young scientists and artists. Our Foldscopes project effort was serialized featuring articles in the Suburban Times about the inexpensive, origami constructed microscopes being presented in both Southeast Asia as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle. World traveler and Johnny Appleseed of Microbiology, Richard Dorsett met Rotarians from all around the district and explained what miracles the fully-functional paper microscopes work. – Foldscopes Redux – Beginning Microbiology at Age 65.
Locally, the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8, Rotary Club of Tacoma North, Clover Park Rotary, and Lakewood Rotary all won awards. Nearly 600 Rotarians enjoyed the two day event. Numerous visitors stopped in to see what was going on. Lakewood Rotary President Don Daniels had his photo taken with well known scientist Sheldon Cooper, a stand-up kinda guy. Next year, the conference will be held on Vancouver Island. The international district alternates locations from Washington State and British Columbia.